Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lemon Poppy Seed Shortcakes

On Friday when I taught the Farmer's Market Bag class I told the students that I would include a recipe for cake like shortcakes; the recipe we did in class was the classic shortcake that is really more like a biscuit.

 Several years ago, I bought some Nordicware shortcake plaques and even though Dr. C. rolled his eyes when I brought them home, I've used them quite a bit during the summer season.  They make a terrific cake to fill with fruits and whipped cream or ice cream.   Unfortunately, the recipe that came with the plaques, didn't work, so I reworked it after my first disaster and this one works every time.  If you don't have shortcake plaques, then you can make this recipe as cupcakes, split them, and serve as you would the biscuit-like shortcake. Some things to remember when you use a form like the shortcake plaques: always coat the inside and top with non-stick cooking spray like Bakers' Joy, and after baking, time them for 10 minutes before removing from the pan--this is true of bundt pans as well. 

Lemon Poppy Seed shortcakes
Makes 12

1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons lemon extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
½ cup sour cream

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and coat the inside of 12 shortcake plaques with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy.  
  3. Add the eggs, lemon extract and zest, beating until the mixture looks curdled.  In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and poppy seeds.  
  4. Add the flour mixture alternately with the sour cream, and beat for 1 minute, until smooth.  
  5. Using a ¼ cup measure scoop the batter into the shortcake molds, and smooth the tops.  
  6. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it.
  7.  Cool the pans for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.  Serve with berries, and whipped cream. 
  8. Cook's Note:  If you prefer to make cupcakes, scoop the mixture into 24 muffin tins that have been coated inside and across the top with non-stick cooking spray and bake for 16 for 18 minutes. 

Buona Notte from San Diego.

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